Monday, December 19, 2011

New Oldies - Boofo Goes Where Santa Goes by Linn Sheldon

"If anybody calls, tell them Barnaby said hello. And tell them that I think you are the nicest person in the whole world... Just you."


Those were the words Linn Sheldon used to close his "Barnaby And Friends" children's show in Cleveland from 1957 to 1990. It was on Channel 3 for the first ten years and moved to Channel 43 in 1967. I was four years old when Barnaby first appeared, and I remember watching it fairly often. He started out as an elf with pointy ears and a straw hat who lived in a place called The Enchanted Forest. His show featured Popeye cartoons, which I really loved back then (and still do), and a character called Woodrow The Woodsman played by Clay Conroy (J. Clayton Conroy), who ended up with his own spin-off children's show.

I had the amazing pleasure of working with Linn Sheldon in my first radio job. I was the producer and engineer for a half-hour show he did every weekday afternoon on WSUM-AM in Parma, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. I helped build that radio station from the ground up in the spring of 1975. If you're interested, you can read more about my early radio background on Avast Ye, Pirate Radio Dead Ahead. If you check out WSUM Radio, now called WCCD-AM, on Wikipedia, you'll even see my "air" name, Joey James, listed as one of the disc jockeys who started that station. Linn's radio show was aimed at adults and it always featured an interesting story. Linn Sheldon had lots of interesting stories to tell! He also made a ton of personal appearances, mostly to cheer up sick children in hospitals around Cleveland.

Linn Richard Sheldon's own childhood was pretty rough. He was born in Norwalk, Ohio on 20 September 1919, and spent much of his youth either homeless or in foster care. He joined the Army during World War II, and became a nightclub entertainer. In 1948, he became one of Cleveland's pioneer television entertainers. Later in life he hosted a morning television talk show on WUAB Channel 43. He also made public his struggle with alcoholism when he sought treatment in 1975. He passed away on 23 April 2006. He was 86 years old.

Not many people know that Linn Sheldon made a Christmas record! It was released on Cosmic 707 in 1958. Here's Boofo Goes Where Santa Goes by Linn Sheldon:



And here's the flip side, Rabbits Have A Christmas by Linn Sheldon:



You'll hear these songs on MusicMaster Oldies every year around Christmas, along with a whole bunch of obscure Christmas songs, many of which you've probably never heard before.

"If anybody calls, tell them Barnaby said hello. And tell them that I think you are the nicest person in the whole world... Just you."

1 comment:

  1. I saved one of Linn Sheldon's radio shows on WSUM. I'll have to dig out that reel of tape, digitize it, and post it on the Internet for everyone to hear.

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